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April 30, 2008

Do crosswords really need to be replaced?

Well, I certainly don't think so, as I'm a big crossword fan. But Crickler, a potential "replacement," is kind of fun. In addition to crosswords. Not instead of them. Anyone tried it? Opinions?

Posted by Kat at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

Wednesday randoms, on a Wednesday, even!

Aren't you proud of me? Yeah.

* I keep expecting it to be warm out. It isn't. It's sunny, unlike yesterday, but that vague thought we had of eating at the tables outside Panera? Yeah, not so much.

* The Yarn Harlot event at Webs was great. I have pictures, even. I'll try to post them tonight.

* I'm moving! I think I keep forgetting to tell you. Just a few towns over, so not a huge move in geographic or life-changing ways, but I'm beyond stressed about the actual moving process. Dewey and I will have one human roommate, three feline roommates, and two Roomba roommates. It should be an adventure.

* After many recommendations from you guys and others, I finally got Danskos. I heart them muchly. I should have listened to you all much sooner.

* Dude, seriously? They're up to PC3-10600 on SDRAM ratings now? I had no idea. And in case you were wondering, Wikipedia tells me that DDR3 DIMMs have the same number of pins (240) and are the same size as DDR2, but are electrically incompatible. Okay. Moving on.

* This article about teen girls "customizing" their religious beliefs sounds really interesting. Interesting enough to make me buy Cosmo Girl!? We'll see.

* Can we discuss the whole door-holding issue for a minute? Sure, it's nice to hold doors for people. I am not convinced that it's nice to hold doors for people who are still halfway across the building, so they feel dumb and pretty much run to the door because oh my gosh you're holding it for them and what else are they supposed to do? People! Stop it!

* I'm slightly embarrassed by how thrilled I am that new TV episodes are back. I'm loving Bones and Gossip Girl, and I thought last week's Grey's was enh but the clips I've seen from tomorrow's look really good. And I have last night's Women's Murder Club on the TiVo to watch tonight. Wheee!

* Remember when I had that race with my friend to see if I could finish a baby blanket before she gave birth? (I lost, that time.) We're having the race again. I'm even knitting the same freaking blanket (in a different color). I'm about 25-30% done with the blanket, and she's already, what, 36 weeks? So I have a feeling I will lose again. But I'm going to try.

Posted by Kat at 02:18 PM | Comments (2)

April 29, 2008

Politics Links (4/29)

Obama denounces Wright. (I think the word "denounce" needs to go away for a while, don't you? I'm kind of sick of it.)

Everyone's favorite pretend president, Martin Sheen, endorses Obama.

Edwards supporters are switching to Obama. Will Edwards himself?

Andrew Sullivan on Clinton and her frenemies.

The "Billification" of Hillary's campaign. They say he's helping more than hurting, but given enough time, he'll surely say something completely self-destructive, right?

Posted by Kat at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

Margaret Atwood on Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite books ever, is 100 years old this month. Margaret Atwood has a nice appreciation with some intriguing ideas.

Posted by Kat at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Free Cone Day!

Don't forget to head to Ben & Jerry's for your free cone today!

Posted by Kat at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2008

Politics Links (4/28)

Not that this is really a surprise, but Gail Collins reminds us that John McCain is not good for women. And Frank Rich reminds us that lots of Republicans really don't like McCain.

Elizabeth Edwards writes for the Times about how the media is messing up the race.

Posted by Kat at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2008

Politics Links (4/25)

Quote of the Day:
“How many debates did you have to have? None? That sounds good.”
Barack Obama discusses elections with a ten-year-old boy who had just become class president. NPR, April 19th, quoted in The Economist

Roger Simon: Don't stop believin', Hillary. Hysterical.

Huckabee has a new book coming out in November.

How will the candidates deal with Indiana's unusual blend of demographics?

Gail Collins on - well, I'm not sure how to summarize it, actually, but it was good.

High school class president and VP are suspended for cutting class to see Obama - even though Obama himself wrote them excuse notes. No, really.

We know Clinton won't quit. Should Obama drop out? I don't really think so, obviously, but it's an interesting theory.

An Obama-Clinton Decision Tree. Nifty.

Yet another reason to like him: Obama adds "gay and straight" to the groups he wants to bring together.

Obama's coming out with a major new voter registration initiative.

Posted by Kat at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)

Typing Game

Try out TypeRacer. I'm torn between "Ooh! Fun!" and flashbacks to the horrible learn-to-type programs we had to use in middle school. Anyone remember the one where you had to type quickly enough to get "friends," and if you messed up too much, then no one would "come to your party"? What were the people who made that program for kids thinking?

Posted by Kat at 05:40 PM | Comments (3)


This is probably old news, but I just noticed that Ravelry is now linked up with WorldCat. My life may in fact be complete.

Posted by Kat at 05:03 PM | Comments (1)

How Not to Keep a Customer

A few years ago, a new yarn store opened near where I was living at the time. I was a regular customer for a while, but I'm not anymore, partially because I live farther away (and closer to other stores) now, and partially because I'm not thrilled with some of the store's business practices. But I still go there occasionally, because I happen to be walking by or because I urgently need something when I'm in that town or whatever. Every time, the owner puts on a big show of being thrilled to see me, but it always includes a lot of "I haven't seen you in so long! Why haven't you been here?" Every time, I politely tell her that I've moved, so I'm not in the area as much. Every time, she makes a huge issue of it anyway. I end up feeling even less inclined to shop there, because it means I'll be interrogated about why I apparently don't spend enough money there as she wants me to.

Today, I met a friend who works in that town for lunch. We went to a cafe a few blocks from the yarn store - and there she was. The yarn store owner. And what does she say? "I haven't seen you in so long! Why haven't you been in to the store?" Sigh. Can't we just leave it at "Hi, nice to see you"?

Posted by Kat at 04:36 PM | Comments (2)

Friday Afternoon Cuteness

Widdle baby lions! Awwww.

Posted by Kat at 03:05 PM | Comments (2)

Yarn Harlot at Webs?

Anyone else going on Sunday?

Posted by Kat at 09:32 AM | Comments (1)

April 24, 2008

Shaving Cream That Will Change Your Life.

Last weekend, my cousin and I were wandering around Cambridge Naturals and she pointed out Kiss My Face Moisture Shave and told me that it would change my life:

I didn't really believe her, but it was all of $4 so I figured I would give it a try. It's amazing! My legs are all smooth! No nicks! No itching! Usually, I don't wear skirts as much as I'd like during the summer because I hate shaving so much, but this is definitely changing that. You should try it. Really. It will change your life.

Posted by Kat at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

Better late than never?

I took this picture of the scarf I'm working on a week or so ago, and it's a lot bigger now. Oh well.

Trellis Scarf

As always, Dewey is very helpful:

Dewey Helping
Posted by Kat at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)

April 23, 2008

Politics Links (4/23)

Quote of the Day:
"I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything." - John McCain, on This Week

The Times, like the rest of us, is sick of the negative campaigning. I wonder if they're regretting their Clinton endorsement?

It seems Abercrombie and Fitch kids like Obama.

I just don't understand how people can believe things like this.

The Times has a profile of John King and his wonderful map.

Nixon's daughter (also a member of the Eisenhower family) supports Obama. I'm not sure if that helps or hurts, really...

The governor of Oklahoma backs Obama. So does Charlie Wilson.

Maureen Dowd: "Or is he simply scared of Hillary because she’s scary?" It's a good column.

Posted by Kat at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)

An Engineer's Guide to Cats

Posted by Kat at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2008

Liveblogging the PA Results

10:02: Okay, nothing's really happening, so I'm headed for bed. I know the candidates will be speaking eventually, but I'm tired, and it's not like what they say won't be replayed a million times tomorrow.

9:25: Wolf is asking Casey why Obama couldn't win PA by outspending Clinton. Of course, he doesn't mention that Clinton started out way, way ahead. argh.

9:16: A little distraction: How will the candidates look in four years?

9:13: Can we please stop saying that Obama losing a given state/county/whatever to Clinton means that he would also lose it to McCain? That just does not make any sense.

9:04: Aaaaand now CNN has called it too. Bah!

8:59: I understand that everything related to the Democrats needs to be blue, but it seems like we could use some other color for situations like this instead of coloring everything light blue and dark blue. In other news, CNN seems to be less about people yelling at each other than MSNBC is, at least at the moment.

8:55: Have I mentioned how much I love John King and his bloopy map? CNN has it at 53-47 now, and is threatening to call it soon.

8:51: Switched to CNN. They haven't called it yet.

8:49: Bah! MSNBC just called it.

8:47: The MSNBC lady just said "Both Clinton and Obama have faced attacks on major qualities. For Clinton, it's that she's not honest or trustworthy. For Obama, it's that he's elitist." (That's not verbatim, but those were the "major qualities" she said.) I just don't understand how elitism could be seen as in any way as bad as dishonesty and untrustworthiness.

8:45: Why is it that all of the TV news people are so obnoxious?

8:34: Darn it! They just switched from "too close to call" to "too early to call," and Clinton has a 65-35 lead. Among the, you know, 2000 votes they have so far.

8:16: Considering how many states they've called right when the polls closed, and the margin Clinton was supposed to have, it has to be a good thing that they're saying it's too close to call, right?

Posted by Kat at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

I don't care if she's a governor...

Who lets a woman IN LABOR on a plane? To fly from Texas to Alaska? Seriously??

Posted by Kat at 08:29 PM | Comments (4)

Attention mystery readers/watchers!

Please come on over to my new blog, The Mystery Shelf. It's dedicated to news and reviews of mystery novels, TV, film, etc. I'm hoping to get some good discussions going. If you're interested in writing any reviews, let me know!

(Don't worry, I'll still be here just as much too!)

Posted by Kat at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

A spring surprise

I woke up this morning and discovered that, seemingly overnight, the tree outside my bedroom window had leaves! Little baby leaves, but still exciting. And then I saw that the forsythia a few doors down is in bloom - again, it seems to have happened overnight, although I realize I've probably just been unobservant. I love forsythia. My parents have a whole row of them along the driveway. I wonder if they'll be blooming when I go home for a visit this weekend?

Posted by Kat at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2008

Politics Links (4/21)

Thomas Frank gets at the real issues of "elitism".

Obama reminds Clinton that Gore won.

Andrew Sullivan on what Pennsylvania will say about tactics.

A profile of the 25 Dean appointees to the Credentials Committee.

Posted by Kat at 08:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2008

Politics Links (4/18)

I have to admit that I didn't watch the debate the other night. I just couldn't take it. I opted for watching Miss Marple and knitting and drinking tea instead, and I think it was much more relaxing. But anyway, some good takes on the debate for those of us needed to catch up: Gail Collins, Andrew Sullivan, The Telegraph (UK). And here's Obama's own take.

Do latte drinkers and Prius drivers really prefer Obama?

Women in politics: getting more fashion options. (I don't like the line about librarians at the end, though.)

Another feature of long campaigns: More campaign romances.

A profile of Cindy McCain makes me like her a lot better than I like her husband.

It seems there's a Clinton aide devoted to managing and protecting Chelsea. I agree with the Jezebel people that it kind of sounds like he has a crush on her.

Posted by Kat at 05:06 PM | Comments (2)

The Olympics Thing

In all the back-and-forth about who thinks the Olympic Opening Ceremonies should be boycotted by whom, I don't understand why no one seems aware that the president usually doesn't go, anyway. According to Slate, no president has ever attended the Opening Ceremonies when they weren't in the United States. So what's the significance of a "boycott"? Sure, sometimes the president sends a proxy, and maybe this means Bush won't do that. But it just doesn't seem like that big a deal. So why is it being made such an issue? Are people just not aware that the president usually doesn't go, so it's being used by everyone as an easy way to suggest action or inaction that sounds good but doesn't mean or change anything?

Posted by Kat at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

Meanwhile, in Russia...

Not that we all thought Putin was exceedingly reasonable before this, but seriously? What did he think? "Oh, it worked so well for Sarkozy, so I think I'll leave my wife for a gymnast?" And seriously, not even a real gymnast. A rhythmic gymnast. Huh? (I mean, nothing against rhythmic gymnasts, but it's not like she's Nadia Comaneci or something.)

Posted by Kat at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

Strategic Error

Yesterday, I had caffeine way later in the day than I usually do - I had to stay alert for an evening event, and I had to grab dinner quickly, so that meant a bagel and iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. Of course, that then meant that once I was home, I couldn't sleep for a while. And now it's Friday, and I'm tired, and I have a weirdly large amount of work to do for a Friday. And lots of it - a big project I'm currently working on - is the sort of work that is both monotonous and finicky, so it doesn't really hold my attention but I can't go on autopilot either. Bah. I think this all adds up to the sort of day when I need to stop at Starbucks on my way from my pre-work volunteer gig to my actual job. Mmm, mocha.

Posted by Kat at 06:37 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2008

A small request

Can we stop calling everything that even vaguely resembles a political scandal "blahblah-gate" now, please?

Posted by Kat at 09:51 PM | Comments (3)

What will they think of next?

I just got back from the dentist. When it was time for the tooth-brushing segment of the appointment, the hygienist started reciting the flavor options. I was about to go with the standard mint when she said "Cookie dough." Cookie dough? I pointed out that that sounded sort of counterproductive, and she agreed, but said it was really good, so I gave it a try. And - yeah. Weird. But not bad.

Posted by Kat at 03:21 PM | Comments (1)

April 16, 2008


Not only did I take the extra comforter off my bed on Saturday, and put a bag of winter clothes in the attic on Sunday... but I just put non-flannel sheets on my bed for the first time since, oh, October? So yes, New Englanders, if it snows again, you can totally blame me.

Posted by Kat at 07:16 PM | Comments (3)

Politics Links (4/16)

Rendell is a new sort of political host and promoter for Clinton in Pennsylvania.

Huckabee's big announcement? Not so exciting, IMHO.

Warren Harding: The real first black president?

How much does Clinton owe Penn?

Apparently McCain's site lifted their "family recipes" from the Food Network.

Roman Catholics for Obama. Just in time for the pope's visit.

Apparently pollsters have decided that what we eat correlates to our political choices. Hm.

Posted by Kat at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)


My favorite type of breakfast

We're having lovely spring weather in New Hampshire this week, and this morning I was reunited with my favorite warm-weather breakfast: Stonyfield Farm Nonfat French Vanilla Organic Yogurt with a sprinkling of granola and fruit. I really need to start making my own granola, because it's so ridiculously expensive, and really, how hard could it be? Anyone have any favorite recipes?

Posted by Kat at 09:11 AM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2008

Why isn't Obama "too pretty"?

I'm sure we all remember the ridiculous argument that John Edwards was "too pretty" to be President. Recently, I've been wondering why those same charges haven't been leveled against Obama. He's a strikingly handsome man, and younger than Edwards, to boot. (In some pictures from around his law school days, he practically looks like a model.) So why aren't we being told that Obama, like Edwards, is too pretty to be President? (What the heck that even means is another question.) A friend and I discussed this over dinner the other night (mmm, broccoli with spicy garlic sauce) and came up with a few possibilities:

1. Obama's detractors just haven't needed to mention his prettiness, since they're already accusing him of being a Muslim/racist/atheist/Marxist/socialist/whatever it is today. There are more easy (if false) targets with Obama than Edwards.
2. It's not just an issue of looks, but of seeming to care about said looks. So far as I know, there haven't been any big things about expensive haircuts with Obama as there were with Edwards.
3. I just have weird taste, and Obama isn't as good-looking as I think he is. (I'm sort of amused that this suggestion came from someone I used to date.)
4. The sorts of people who are likely to hold something like "too pretty" against a candidate in the first place just wouldn't think to use that term to describe a black man.

Are we on the right track? Any other ideas?

EDIT: Consensus (at least among people named C/Kate...) seems to be that I'm just nuts. Although - hmm. I think my thinking was not necessarily that he's ridiculously handsome or anything, but that I don't see how Edwards is more "conventionally good-looking" than Obama. Because I think (just off the top of my head) that Obama has more regular features, and Edwards is sort of squinty, and his hair is floppy. Hm.

Posted by Kat at 07:34 PM | Comments (3)

April 14, 2008

Politics Links (4/14)

Mike Huckabee has... something... coming soon.

Does Obama's international popularity hurt him?

Nora Ephron on Hillary Clinton

The Clintons? Proud of themselves, and each other.

A Non-Executive Decision

Are people really backing Obama because their kids say so? Hm.

Politico has picked the 50 greatest political moments of the past 50 years.

McCain and faith. It seems like an interesting shift that the Republican candidate is talking about religion a lot less than either Democrat this year.

Posted by Kat at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2008

When appliances attack...

Yesterday, I was trying to wash one of my comforters before putting it away for the season. I have washed this comforter before without incident, so I didn't really think it would be a big deal. But no: as I was about to leave to meet up with some friends last night, I discovered that the unbalancedness of the load had somehow made the washing machine turn about 100 degrees, which in turn had made the dryer move and disconnect. Gah!

My downstairs neighbors were asleep when I got home last night, so I didn't want to start moving large appliances around and decided to wait to deal with it until morning. Which I did. But in the process of trying to move them back into place, I managed to pretty much barricade myself into the bathroom with the washing machine in front of the door. That was a somewhat troubling few minutes.

I finally got it to move to where it is both usable and not blocking anything. And now both machines seem to be functioning correctly. During this process, I did find a dollar, a missing sock, and a few other small items, so at least that's something... But whew. It was a bit alarming. I think I deserve some cocoa after that.

Posted by Kat at 10:29 AM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2008

A bit of Friday amusement...

Pride and Prejudice, acted out with toys.

Posted by Kat at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2008

The Lost Children of Rockdale County

The PBS documentary The Lost Children of Rockdale County had been referenced in several articles I'd read recently, but I'd never actually seen it, so it finally occurred to me to get it from Netflix. It was... interesting. Quick summary: a syphilis outbreak among teenagers leads to the exposure of a secret teenage culture of ridiculous amounts of group sex and various other destructive behaviors. You can see more at PBS's site about the documentary. I thought the Frontline people did a good job of interviewing the teens and their parents; I was amazed at how much they got several of the teens to tell them. (The cute blonde 13-year-olds using their stuffed animals to show the interviewer what they meant by various sexual terms and positions was pretty disturbing.) But while the filmmakers did a pretty good job of uncovering what happened, I didn't think they did as well as they thought they had at figuring out why. They put most of the blame on indulgent and/or negliglent parents with too few rules, and also mention TV, alcohol, the fact that there was nothing to do in the town... but something is missing. It would have been improved by the addition of some academics - developmental psychologists, sociologists, even anthropologists - to put it in a larger cultural context. I guess my basic problem with the documentary was that there are lots of places that have bored teenagers with too much alcohol and too little supervision, so why did this particular problem happen in this particular place? I wanted Jared Diamond to come in at the end to tell me what it was about this town that made fairly normal factors produce such abnormal results.

Posted by Kat at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2008

So many books, so little time.

(I am, in fact, wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the above motto at this very moment. Because I'm a dork. In case you were wondering.)

So while I may be bored with all my knitting projects, I've having the opposite problem with books. I'm back in that mood in which I want to read EVERYTHING right NOW. (How is that different from my usual self, you may ask? Good question. I think it may just be a matter of degree.) I wander around the library and all the books are so pretty and they all want to come home with me and I get a bit despondent, because I know I will never ever be able to read all of them, and it's so sad. But at the same time, I have trouble focusing, because I want to read ALL OF THEM, so I end up being all scattered and not finishing much, and it's all very unsatisfying.

Sometimes I'm jealous of people who don't like reading quite as much, or who love to read but have more specific interests. Who know they like romance or sci fi or poetry or whatever, and can stay more on top of things. (Or just not care.) But there are very few books I'd say I didn't want to read, if you happened to ask me when I was in the right mood. There are some I want to read more than others, sure, but so many of them look so good! For example, when I was in the fiction stacks tonight looking for Jhumpa Lahiri, Nora Ephron, and Meg Cabot, I noticed an historical novel from 1960 about Disraeli's wife, and while that wasn't anything I was at all planning to read, it just had to come home with me. Sigh.

One of my friends deals with this book angst by consoling himself with the possibility that he will live forever, and everyone else will die (and therefore stop writing books) and so he will have time to catch up. Unfortunately, I think we'll all die - and then when we get to heaven we'll discover that all our favorite authors have been writing more books since their own deaths. Argh!

Posted by Kat at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)

Spring ennui?

When I got up this morning, I noticed that I had apparently left my knitting bag unzipped and open all night. Uh-oh. But - shockingly, it seems nothing was disturbed. I think this means that even Dewey is bored with my knitting. Sigh.

It's not that I don't like the things I'm knitting. I do. Really. But I'm just feeling rather blah about most of them right now. I think part of the issue might be that I keep starting things (because I'm bored with the other things) and then I feel like I'm not making any progress on anything. And it's finally feeling like spring, which means I have a dozen lace projects, and then when I don't feel like knitting lace... yeah. But at the same time, I'm really wanting to knit, which actually makes it harder. If I was feeling "eh" about knitting in general, I'd just read more for a few weeks and wait it out. But I want to knit! I think what I'm going to do is pick the project I like the most right now (a simple lace scarf in yellow Silky Wool) and try to just knit that (except for the sock in my purse, for when I'm out). Until it's done. Really.

Of course, you all know I've said that before. We'll see how long it lasts.

Posted by Kat at 09:29 AM | Comments (1)

April 08, 2008


You know how sometimes you look around and you're completely uninspired by any of your knitting projects?

Yeah. Hate that.

Posted by Kat at 08:21 PM | Comments (1)

Perfect for Spring

Here's my Rock Creek Yarn Simply Sock in Cherry Blossom. Look at the pretty packaging it came in!

Rock Creek Yarns Simply Sock Cherry Blossom

And unwrapped:

Rock Creek Yarns Simply Sock Cherry Blossom

It's beautiful! I wish I could show it to you knitted up, but I'm trying to finish a few things before starting anything new. Soon!

Posted by Kat at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Wordsworth!

It's Wordsworth's birthday! Here's the beginning of one of my favorites of his, Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey:

FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.--Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.
Posted by Kat at 08:19 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2008

Politics Links (4/5)

The Clintons finally release their tax returns. Summary: They got really really rich.

The World According to John McCain Foreign policy, temper, emotion, and Joe Lieberman... an interesting mix. Plus, did you know Gary Hart was an usher at McCain's wedding?

Does Pennsylvania have a particular problem with electing women and minorities? If they did, would so many people be registering as new Democratic voters? Hmmmm.

A look at what Samantha Power is doing now. Hint: She's still really busy.

McCain: Really bad at giving speeches.

Posted by Kat at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2008

Politics Links (4/4)

Get your Whedon for President bumper sticker! And while we're at it, here's Adama for President.

Politico has a guide to the undecided superdelegates.

Caucusing elephants. No, really.

Elizabeth Edwards has taken a visiting fellowship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Obama wants Gore to work in his administration.

Carter hints at supporting Obama.

Edwards rules out another VP run. Which we pretty much all figured. But at the end of that article, there's what some of us would like to read as a teeny tiny hint that he supports Obama. (Or that gender biases are very entrenched in political language. Whatever.)

Okay, this article about a supplier of arms for Afghanistan is just... bizarre. And, like all good political stories these days, involves prostitutes.

Interesting profile of McCain, set during the NH primary and Super Tuesday. Wow, he really hates Romney.

Posted by Kat at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2008

Politics Links (4/3)

All the fun is going on in the campaign, and no one likes Bush anyway, so White House reporters are bored.

Pennsylvania voters feel neglected.

So much for universal health care - Clinton didn't bother paying the bills for her employees' health insurance. No coverage was interrupted, but still...

Obama event at Penn? Nope, it's an April Fool's joke.

Some unconventional (and amusing!) ideas for wooing superdelegates.

NPR's Political Junkie has the first in a series on McCain's VP options.

Posted by Kat at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)

March Books

I just realized I didn't really read any adult novels in March. Huh.

Dolphins at Daybreak, Magic Tree House #9, by Mary Pope Osborne
Genre: Early readers, adventure
Pages: 67
Rating: 3.8
Comments: This was the choice of my book buddy at the elementary school where I volunteer. I'd never read a Magic Tree House book before, and I was pleasantly surprised. The main characters were likeable, and the book was educational without making it too obvious. I enjoyed it!

Moving Day, Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls #1, by Meg Cabot
Genre: Juvenile
Pages: 232
Rating: 4.5
Comments: This is Meg Cabot's first book for younger readers. I wasn't sure how well her signature tone would transfer to this genre, but I was impressed. This, the firs of a series, is about a 9-year-old who is trying to prevent her family from moving to a new neighborhood. Allie is a great character - she's an individual, but Cabot doesn't belabor the "Oh, look how special she is" point the way some writers for children do. Allie stands up for what she believes in, and is willing to recognize when she's wrong and learn from her mistakes. And, of course, like all of Cabot's books, it's hilarious.

Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment by Anthony Lewis
Genre: Law, history
Pages: 221
Rating: 4.3
Comments: This is a fascinating look at the history of the First Amendment (freedom of speech and the press) and its interpretation. It was extremely informative and surprisingly readable, and it made me want to learn more about several of the topics it touched upon. I only had a few quibbles. Lewis interjected his own views every once in a while, and the sudden switch into first person from third person was jarring. And many of the chapter titles were fairly subtle, so it sometimes took a while to figure out the subject of a particular chapter. I also wish he had given more citations for some things he mentioned. Other than that, though, I thought this was great for anyone interested in issues of freedom of speech, or in the Constitution in general.

It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh
Genre: Home, organization
Pages: 230
Rating: 3.6
Comments: This book sounded interesting because it promised to talk about underlying factors in society, etc. that lead people to have so much stuff. Unfortunately, that section was pretty short, and the rest of the book was pretty standard decluttering/organizational stuff. It was okay, but you can get that anywhere, and I was more interested in the sociological/economic perspective, so I was disappointed in this book overall. It does have some good ideas, though - just not what I was expecting.

Arthur and the Sword by Robert Sabuda
Genre: Picture book, mythology
Pages: 30
Rating: 4.2
Comments: This is a beautiful picture book version of the traditional sword in the stone part of the Arthur legend. I've been a fan of Sabuda's pop-up books for a while, but this book has illustrations made to look like stained glass - also gorgeous. I got it from the library to read to my book buddy, because Merlin, Camelot, etc. were mentioned in her Magic Tree House book (see above) and she had never heard of them. This was a nice introduction to Arthurian legend.

Things I Learned from Knitting by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Genre: Knitting, humor
Pages: 160
Rating: 4.6
Comments: This is the new book by our beloved Yarn Harlot. It takes the form of short essays connecting various sayings ("Birds of a feather flock together," etc.) to the knitting life. As always, she's hilarious, but this one had a nice amount of more serious philosophy type stuff too. I liked this better than her last one.

Posted by Kat at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2008

Politics Links (4/2)

Richardson responds to Carville's attacks. A must-read.

There's a lot of talk recently about Catholics becoming "the new Evangelicals" in a political sense, whatever that's supposed to mean. Most of it is centered on the Democratic race, but here's one about McCain pandering to courting Catholic voters.

Bosnia's former president discusses Hillary Clinton's visit. He agrees with now-conventional wisdom on the basics - no sniper fire - but does support Clinton's assertion that there were worries of danger.

Dean is going to meet with Florida people tomorrow. Should be interesting... And here's a joint statement from Florida and the DNC.

Posted by Kat at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2008

Politics Links (4/1)

Articles like this one are really driving me crazy. Yes, I think Clinton should get out of the race! But no, it's not because she's a woman! It's because she's losing! And because she keeps lying! Gah.

Clinton adopts Rocky theme song. Didn't anyone tell her that Colbert totally claimed that as his theme song for PA?

An historical look at the U.S. and torture.

The Campaign Season of Taking Offense I think it's a good point that one of the reasons for all of the exaggerated offenses and apologies is the fact that Clinton and Obama are so close, as far as policy goes, that there's not a whole lot else to say. And I think this this month of nothing before Pennsylvania has something to do with it too. Everyone's on edge, and that can't help.

Posted by Kat at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

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